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Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
Though the passage quoted above from Othello proves decisively that Shakspeare considered the heart as the throne of love, it has been maintained, since this note was written, strange as it may seem, that by my bosom's lord, we ought to understand, not the god of love, but the heart. The words-love sits lightly on his throne, says Mr. Mason, can only import “ that Romeo loved less intensely than usual.” Nothing less. Love, the lord of my bosom, (says the speaker,) who has been much disquieted by the unfortunate events that have happened since my marriage, is now, in consequence of my last night's dream, gay and cheerful. The reading of the original copy-sits cheerful in his throne, ascertains the author's meaning beyond a doubt.
When the poet described the god of love as sitting lightly on the heart, he was thinking, without doubt, of the common phrase, a light heart, which signified in his time, as it does at present, a heart undisturbed by care.
Whenever Shakspeare wishes to represent a being that he has personified, eminently happy, he almost always crowns him, or places him on a throne. So, in King Henry IV. P. I:
" And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep." Again, in the play before us :
" Upon his brow shame is asham'd to sit:
“ Sole monarch of the universal earth." Again, more appositely, in King Henry V:
“ As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
“ Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.” MALONE. My bosom's lord-] These three lines are very gay and pleasing. But why does Shakspeare give Romeo this involuntary cheerfulness just before the extremity of unhappiness? Perhaps to show the vanity of trusting to those uncertain and casual exaltations or depressions, which many consider as cer. tain foretokens of good and evil. Johnson. The poet has explained this passage himself a little further on:
“ How oft, when men are at the point of death,
“ A lightning before death.” Again, in G. Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576: “ a lightning delight against his souden destruction."
I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead;
News from Verona!-How now, Balthasar ? .
BAL. Then she is well, and nothing can be ill ; Her body sleeps in Capels' monument,
o I dreamt, my lady came and found me dead;
And breath'd such life with kisses in my lips,
That I reviv'd,] Shakspeare seems here to have remembered Marlowe's Hero and Leander, a poem that he has quoted in As you like it :
" By this sad Hero
MALONE. ! I dreamt, my lady
That I reviv'd, and was an emperor.] So, in Shakspeare's 87th Sonnet:
“ Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter, .
“ In sleep a king.” Steevens. | How fares my Juliet?] So the first quarto. That of 1599, and the folio, read :
How doth my lady Juliet? MALONE. " '- in Capels' monument,] Thus the old copies; and thus Gascoigne, in his Flowers, p. 51 : “ Thys token whych the Mountacutes did beare alwaies,
And her immortal part with angels lives;
ROM. Is it even so ? then I defy you, stars! Thou know'st my lodging: get me ink and paper, And hire post-horses ; I will hence to-night.
BAL. Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thus : 4 Your looks are pale and wild, and do import Some misadventure. ROM.
Tush, thou art deceiy'd ;
BAL. No, my good lord.
66 They covet to be knowne from Capels, where they
passe, « For ancient grutch 'whych long ago 'tweene these two
houses was.” STEEVENS. Shakspeare found Capel and Capulet used indiscriminately in the poem which was the ground work of this tragedy. For Capels' monument the modern editors have substituted Capulet's monument. MALONE.
Not all of them. The edition preceding Mr. Malone's does not, on this occasion, differ from his. REED.
3 I defy you, stars !] The first quarto-I defy my stars. The folio reads-deny you, stars. The present and more animated reading is picked out of both copies. STEEVENS. The quarto of 1599, and the folio, read—I deny you, stars.
MALONE. 4 Pardon me, sir, I will not leave you thus:] This line is taken from the quarto, 1597. The quarto, 1609, and the folio, read:
I do beseech you, sir, have patience. Steevens, So also the quarto, 1599. Malone.
And hire those horses; I'll be with thee straight.
[Exit BALTHASAR. Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee to night. Let's see for means:-0, mischief! thou art swift To enter in the thoughts of desperate men! I do remember an apothecary, —. And hereabouts he dwells,—whom late I noted In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows, Culling of simples; meager were his looks,
s I do remember an apothecary, &c.] This circumstance is likewise found in Painter's translation, Tom. II. p. 241 : “ – beholdyng an apoticaries shoppe of lytle furniture, and lesse store of boxes and other thynges requisite for that science, thought that the verie povertie of the mayster apothecarye would make him wyllyngly yelde to that whych he pretended to demaunde." STEEVENS.
It is clear, I think, that Shakspeare had here the poem of Romeus and Juliet before him; for he has borrowed more than one expression from thence: « And seeking long, alas, too soon ! the thing he sought,
he found. “ An apothecary sat unbusied at his door, “ Whom by his heavy countenance he guessed to be
poor; “ And in his shop he saw his boxes were but few, 66 And in his window of his wares there was so small a
shew: “ Wherefore our Romeus assuredly hath thought, “ What by no friendship could be got, with money should
be bought; 6 For needy lack is like the poor man to compel “ To sell that which the city's law forbiddeth him to
sell. “ Take fifty crowns of gold (quoth he) “ Fair sir (quoth he) be sure this is the speeding geer, “ And more there is than you shall need; for half of
that is there “ Will serve, I undertake, in less than half an hour “ To kill the strongest man alive, such is the poison's
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones :6 .
meager were his looks, Sharp misery had worn him to the bones :] See Sackville's description of Miserie, in his Induction; • " His face was leane, and some deal pinde away;
“And eke his hands consumed to the bone.” MALONE. ? An alligator stuff'd,] It appears from Nashe's Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1596, that a stuff'd alligator, in Shakspeare's time, made part of the furniture of an apothecary's shop: “ He made (says Nashe) an anatomie of a rat, and after hanged her over his head, instead of an apothecary's crocodile, or dried alligator.” MALONE.
I was many years ago assured, that formerly, when an apothecary first engaged with his druggist, he was gratuitously furnished by him with these articles of show, which were then imported for that use only. I have met with the alligator, tortoise, &c. hanging up in the shop of an ancient apothecary at Limehouse, as well as in places more remote from our metropolis. See Hogarth's Marriage Alamode, Plate III.-It may be remarked, however, that the apothecaries dismissed their alligators, &c. some time before the physicians were willing to part with their amber-headed canes and solemn periwigs.
STEVENS. 8 A beggarly account of empty boxes,] Dr. Warburton would read, a braggartly account ; but beggarly is probably right; if the boxes were empty, the account was more beggarly, as it was more pompous. Johnson.
9 An if a man &c.] This phraseology, which means simplyIf, was not unfrequent in Shakspeare's time and before. Thus, in Lodge's Illustrations, Vol. I. p. 85: “ - meanys was maid unto me to see an yf I wold appoynt,” &c. REED.